Situation: Interviewing with Playment
Location: Home-turned-office in Koramangala, Bangalore
Props: Bean Bag, Bean Bag, Bean Bag
Lead Actors: Anisha, Ajinkya, Siddharth
Siddharth nodded encouragingly while attacking a plate of rajma chawal. I was describing key learnings at my soon-to-be-previous-job at a major E-commerce firm. Next, Ajinkya, one of the co-founders of the company walked in from his game of squash, still in sweatpants. We proceeded to talk about the future of crowdsourcing, data mining and exciting applications of AI. At the end of this casual-seeming ‘interview’, they offered me the job. How did Project Manager at Playment sound? I considered accepting on the spot. A part of me wondered if I was out of my mind.
Was I really thinking about quitting a job with one of the biggest and most recognized brands in India to join a startup? Was I prepared to bid goodbye to a cushy job, with a fixed appraisal cycle, timely promotions and raises? I’d leave behind a world of creature comforts (no more free breakfast, fancy gym, and beer-on-company-tab). All this to join the 10846th tech startup in Bangalore. What if they shut shop within the year? What would I tell my parents?
Now is the time to reveal that I come from a family of high achievers. Both my parents and sister are doctors, so I decided to completely break with tradition and…became an Engineer, graduating from IIT-Roorkee in 2015 (shockingly rebellious I know!). At my first job, I was part of the sales team for lifestyle products. And while I learnt about top line, bottom line and merchandising, soon, I began to feel like just another cog in a corporate wheel. This is when a fellow-IITian introduced me to Playment.
Playment uses data science, technology, and design to reimagine how companies get work done. They leverage the power of crowds and the ubiquity of smartphones to solve complex business problems for a diverse range of clients including Flipkart, Ola Cabs, and Myntra. I strongly feel Playment’s approach makes them a game changer. Which is why I went ahead and accepted their offer, and joined them six months ago.
And I am happy to report it has been wonderful! At Playment, every single day brings a new challenge. In the past few months, I have come to understand the workings of multiple industries to be it, online retail firms, taxi service aggregators, logistics providers, data mining companies, or drone and self-driving AI technology firms. And the work culture at Playment encourages every employee to dive deep into different aspects of the business, take full responsibility and deliver.
For instance, recently, we helped Flipkart automate a content-moderation task that would normally take weeks but is now being turned around in just 8 minutes or so. Flipkart guidelines mandate that every user-generated review is verified before it goes up on their site. So first, we ensured that all reviews are funneled to us, within seconds, via a custom-built API. Next, we assimilated all this macro-data, and broke it down into micro-tasks, so that people across the country could get to work on it. Playment users or players checked content, following a stringent but simple set of rules we created. Once ratified for quality and relevance, reviews were fed back to the client, and showed up on Flipkart’s website. In my position, I worked very closely with the tech team and product team to get this project up and running. My colleagues relied heavily on my assessment of the task and its variables to build the aptest features for our users and client-facing tools.
A project like this is a win-win for all parties concerned. Visitors to Flipkart can now enjoy a spam-free browsing experience. Playment app users get earn monetary rewards for performing this task accurately (one of our app users made enough to buy a TV just from earnings on this project). And we at Playment rejoice, gratified that a problem that would normally call for large, expensive teams and time to solve, is now done in a matter of minutes. All by leveraging the power of gamification and a distributed taskforce. This confirms my belief that crowdsourcing is the future of work and I can bet that Playment will be at the forefront of this upcoming wave. That is a great feeling.
You know what is even better? The fact that we are hiring. We would love to have you join our team if you feel like you fit the bill. Check out all current openings here. Or write to us at [email protected] to learn more.